In the article, ‘Freedom Sans Responsibility,’ Amir Zia has captured the status of present-day media. The dichotomy of the situation is that they keep on harping about Pakistan being one of the worst perpetrators of curbing freedom of speech whilst preparing to launch the daily tirade of venom live from 7.00 pm till midnight. Often you would find some of them even pitching their line of lack of freedom of speech by citing some international news item or report.
These evil spinners of falsehood are sometimes helped by some bizarre kidnapping of unknown social media or mainstream media by ‘unknown’ persons in the middle of the night. This totally unnecessary act gives fodder to their brew of untruths. Of course these incidents need to be stopped. As Amir Zia says, we need a regularity authority to be set up with the acceptance of all and sundry, backed up by legislation in Parliament. Everyone would then have to work within the confines of civility and responsibility.
Thank you for the Other View
I would like to commend Narratives Editor Ibrahim Sajid Malick and his team for bringing out such a fine issue of Narratives for the month of August. Only one kind of propaganda is being fed through the mainstream and social media, that the Pakistani press is under siege. But Narratives has managed to bring an alternative view and voice to this important debate. And these alternative views have come from veterans in their field who seem to get little space in our national private press and television.
Narratives should keep up its good work. I wish the best of luck to the magazine and its team who are standing their ground as an independent publication despite all the odds.
Journalism or Propaganda
This refers to the article, ‘Journalism or Propaganda,’ published in the August issue of Narratives in which the writer rightly points out the bias and propagandist approach of the western media covering developing countries.
In countries like Pakistan, western culture is idealised, so it is not surprising that the western media enjoys more credibility than our local news stations.
The bias can be seen in Imran Khan’s interview with Jonathan Swan where many of the things he said were taken out of context and used against him, or in the way America is trying to use Pakistan as a scapegoat for what’s happening in Afghanistan and nobody is questioning the role America played in it.
The media use these stories as a weapon to give countries like ours a bad image, and the people who question it aren’t given any attention. People who don’t know enough about politics and what’s actually going on in the world will form opinions based on a story that twisted the truth to the point that the bad guys go free. Pakistanis — especially the youth from what I’ve seen — start to turn against their own country without knowing the context or history behind whatever they see in the western media. They get over-invested in something they don’t fully understand and take part in spreading the western propaganda through social media platforms.
Focus on Millennials
Being a regular reader of one of the emerging e-magazines of Pakistan, I would like to suggest to Narratives that instead of focusing on just the political and legal aspects of the country, the magazine should create a column that can grab the attention of the young millennials. I understand the fact that Narratives was created for the thinking person. But if the magazine wishes to attract the Z generation, then they should include scandals, reviews of shows, food, latest happenings of the country.
Exposing sensational journalism
‘Freedom Sans Responsibility’ by Amir Zia has quoted all the facts regarding the freedom that the Pakistani media has taken for granted. Unfortunately, most of the entertainment and news related platforms sensationalise the concept of harassment in the country. Whether it is a case related to rape or any other such incident, the media brings it to light and further creates a drama out of it. However it ends up in romanticising the rapist and survivor relation.
I am glad that Narratives has such writers who bring forward the reality of social media and how these platforms are being used in a negative way.
Where is our civic sense?
My parents, inspired by fond childhood memories and similar stories across the world, planted a dozen fruit trees at the edge of their property. Their hope was that anyone who needed it would eat fruit from the tree and sit under its shade. For over a year they watered and cared for these trees. When the first flowers turned to fruit, they netted and protected them until one morning the pomegranate, little more than a bud was plucked and thrown. The orange bud, more pith than fruit, was bitten into and spat out. The olive plant was dug out under cover of darkness. My parents planted these trees in good faith with generous intentions but eventually the tide of a dozen selfish acts washed away their lofty hopes.
Hitting the Nail on the Head
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s article ‘Concept of Independent Media’ hits the nail on the head. He is right in saying that there is an organised effort to malign Pakistan and paint a bleak picture about the status of media freedom in the country. I wonder what kind of freedom these handful of pseudo intellectuals, activists and journalists want.
Just watch the news channels – especially from 7 pm till midnight. Every subject is discussed and everyone is free to not just criticise the government but even bring state institutions into disrepute, which is not allowed anywhere in the world. The debates and string of allegations, the propaganda and fake news on social media is all the more heart breaking and requires an immediate regulatory framework. The West has long used the so-called freedom of expression to destabilise the developing nations and the newest tool in their arsenal for propaganda warfare is social media. The sooner the authorities act to strengthen Pakistan’s defence system on this front the better.
Faith goes Digital
As a young adult in my 20s I have been very particular about my religious practices and, was never distracted by the religious aspects shared on digital platforms. In his article ‘Faith goes digital,’ Khurram Bari very efficiently covered the issue of digitalisation and the faith.
I agree with the writer that the scholars appearing on television channels are not qualified to provide any sort of religious guidance or information to the mass audience.
Narratives is managing to cover all the essential stories and aspects of society.
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